The TSA wants to charge you for your carry-on bags

Sure, there was tremendous uproar when Spirit Air announced their plan to charge passengers to have larger carry-on bags on the plane. But what if the TSA, the idiots charged with securing our transportation infrastructure, suggests something similar? Will the same congress-critters who displayed outrage maintain it or will they roll over to the "anything for security" mantra?

It looks like we are all going to find out soon enough. The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, testified to congress this week that the costs related to carry-on bags are in the range of $260MM annually because of the need to have TSA agents screening those bags. These are the same agents who are great at spotting bottles of water and apparently not so much at spotting things that are actually arguably dangerous, but that’s a whole different rant.

The Secretary conveniently managed to skip over the part about how there are other agents who are inspecting all the checked baggage; if the bags are checked instead of carried on someone is still going to have to check them. Then again, the checked baggage systems (particularly the new ones) are much more automated and faster, in part because there is more space to work with in those sections of the airport and in part because they’re actually looking for dangerous goods instead of extra large tubes of toothpaste or sunscreen.

The statement from the Secretary was in response to a rather leading question from Senator Mary Landrieu:

Checked bagged fees are increasing, it looks like, the cost to TSA because people don’t want to pay the fees so they are not checking bags and putting more on the planes. My question is, do the taxpayers have to pick up this fee? Or should we be looking at the airlines for some of the profits that they make from these fees to offset the cost the taxpayer.

The Secretary is trying to convince Congress to increase the fees paid by passengers to the tune of $600MM annually. No word yet on what other wasteful projects the spare $340MM will be earmarked for. Apparently the Senator is just looking for a cash-grab.

Our government, hard at work.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Just another disgusting example of our tax payer dollars hard at work! This might even be as offensive as proposed FAA user fees.

  2. I just cannot believe that something as ludicrous as this would even be considered. Pretty soon, we will be charged for even walking into the airport – much less having the audacity to fly!

  3. I for one think this is a waste and if the TSA thinks that I would pay this extra tax for any carry on bags,they can forget it. You want the extra money,take it out of your own Damn pockets

  4. TSA should make the airlines (through the IRS) to pass for the extra expenses of screening carry-on bags….or TSA could leverage a fee from the airlines equivalent to all their checked bag fees…

  5. To be fair, they aren’t really looking to take cash on a per-bag basis at the WTMD or something. They just want to charge everyone more because of the costs that Nappy associates with the carry-ons. Still a pretty stupid plan overall and one that doesn’t really account for the bigger picture. Not really all that hard to see just how many ways she’s wrong, but such is life. The more I see and hear about how our government operates the more I want to revolt.

    Don’t forget that you are already paying part of the TSA’s costs every time you fly in the form of the “9/11 Security Fee” of $2.50/segment, up to $5 each way on a trip. That’s the fee she’s trying to get raised.

  6. Just once I would love to see some ROI numbers on the TSA and their policies.

  7. Kudos Trilateral Commission ,

    T.s.a. At Kennedy airport allowed a man onto delta flight without a boarding pass.

    the Secretary of Transportation,Ray Lahood,needs
    To have an Oversight Committee, look into the hundreds of reports, of t.s.a. Blunders.

    Because of the T.S.A.BlUNDERS, we will Not Ever Fly,Public, Transportation …

  8. The ROI on the TSA numbers are either zero or infinite, depending on which side of the ledger you want to believe. It is impossible to prove the negative so we’re stuck with zero generally.

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